The Gift of Time

I have a confession to make. I can be just a bit obsessed with time. I'm always looking to see what time it is. If I'm wearing a watch, I check it regularly. During the day, I'm always checking in on the time. My brain is always whirring.... spinning those wheels to remember all that is on my to do list. What has gotten done and what hasn't gotten done. Trying to determine the best way to get those uncompleted tasks completed before day's end.

Now, knowing all that about me, would you think that maybe I just might be a little stressed most of the time? If you answered 'YES!', then you are correct.

Now, I will say, I have been working on this some over the last year or two. The stress level has dropped considerably. I am learning how to let go of what truly is not important and what is not in my control. I am learning to make those conscious decisions to play with my kids instead of folding the laundry. But, do I still have a long ways to go? Again, YES!

Last week I wrote a post about a series of sermons our pastor was doing on "Resolutions that Matter". Last week, the sermon had been about CHANGE. Wow... did he ever give me a lot to think about! Or, rather... the Lord gave me a lot to think about as I listened to our pastor. Well, this week, guess what the topic was? Yep... it was TIME. Based on how I started this post you probably can imagine that it was very "timely" (ha, ha... timely... get it??) for me.

Once again, I walked out of that service with much to ponder. If you are familiar with the story of Mary and Martha in the Bible then you will understand when I tell you that I am a Martha. But, oh, how I want to be a Mary. I don't want to miss out on my time with my family or my friends or any one else because I am too busy being a Martha.

Time is a valuable thing. More valuable, I think, than we will ever understand here on earth. To just begin to put it into perspective (even a little), follow these thoughts (they were included in our pastor's study notes)....

** To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed a grade

** To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby

** How valuable is ONE HOUR? Ask the businessman whose flight was delayed an hour and he missed an important business deal.

** How valuable is ONE MINUTE? Ask the man who had the heart attack and a nearby EMT immediately gives him CPR to save his life.

** How valuable is ONE SECOND? Ask the person who barely missed an oncoming car.

** How valuable is ONE MILLISECOND? Ask the Olympic swimmer who missed qualifying by sixtenths. Time is valuable.

How about this quote by A.W. Tozer? "Time is a resource that is nonrenewable and nontransferable. You cannot store it, slow it up, hold it up, divide it up or give it up. you can't hoard it up or save it for a rainy day -- when it's lost, it unrecoverable. When you kill time, remember that it has no resurrection."

It really makes you stop and think, doesn't it? Here are some of the questions I've asked myself this week.....

** Is it more important that my house is always neat and clean or that I spend special one-on-one time with my kids?

** Is it more important that my bed is made in the morning or that I've spent that time instead in prayer?

** Is it more important that my "to do" list items were all checked off before I went to bed or that I spent an hour in the evening just sitting quietly and visiting with my husband?

Now, all of these questions have an obvious answer. Yes, the time with my kids is more important. The time in prayer is certainly more important than making the bed. And, the time with my husband is more important than any 'ole "to do" list. But, I find that by writing out that question and forcing myself to really address it, that the point is driven home to me more. The truth is, some days I will choose to make the bed instead of pray. Some days I will pick up the house instead of playing with my kids. And, yes, there are days that I will complete that "to do" list instead of spending time with my husband. I NEED to look at the questions and realize that I don't always make the best judgment call. I NEED to focus my time on the most valuable and precious gifts I have been given.

Sure, the house does need to be picked up and it is nice to occassionally get that bed made. But, should I ever do them at the risk of missing out on special time with my loved ones? With God? NO! I need to find the balance. I need to realize that the time I take away from the most valuable gifts I have been given will never be replaced. Once I give it up, it is gone.

I'm going to continue my journey in learning to focus on what is truly important. I'm going to continue to grow and learn how to make the decisions that show my friends and my family that I value them. I'm going to have more times when I just sit and laugh and enjoy. I'm going to have more time in prayer and in God's Word.

Will you join me? Will you jump on this bandwagon with me and learn to use well the gift of time?

"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:15

"So teach us to number our days, That we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12

11 Thoughts Shared:

Omah's Helping Hands said...

Oh Melanie, This is awesome. I so needed this. I too am one that has a hard time organizing my "time" and have been working on it. This is going to be a big help! It's so nice when we can share our success after our troubles. You are a blessing from the Lord. He's smiling down on you right now.
God bless you,

Cheryl said...

Hey Melanie,

I'm in that boat with you about TIME! I've been trying to change how much more important the gift of time is in regards to prayer, bible time and family. I'm still learning!

Thanks for sharing!

Hope the bad weather misses you guys. It sleeted here all night last time and still going off and on this morning here. We had freezing rain yesterday, so actually the sleet has been a good thing.


Meredith said...

Our pastor also spoke about Redeeming your time just before the new year. I have been thinking on this subject (alot).....soooo thank you for your "timely":) blog. I needed that......
Blessings to ya!

Tiffany Stuart said...

This post is right up there in my book. I have read those quotes before. I pray Psalm 90:12. Each day is a gift. I think after fearing that I was dying from panic attacks(honesty here), my mind has been somewhat rewired to value each day. I don't want to kill time. Do I fail? Sure. But my heart is drawn towards wanting to live life with purpose and for God.

Tricia said...

Hey Melanie
This is a wonderful post and hits on some things that I struggle with also... the time thing always is a struggle, what should I do with my time. It reminds me a verse in Psalms, which states, My times are in Your hands (Tricia's paraphrase)... But God does hold our time in His hands, we need to seek His guidance in how to use it. The questions you have posed to us are very good ones... ones that make me stop and think... am I making the best use of my time? Is how I spend my time honoring to God?


Erica said...

Awesome! What a great thing to think about and great scriptures to meditate on.
You always have such great stuff!

Laurie Ann said...

I am struggling with time issues right now, so this post was very timely for me. You've given me alot to think about and I need to re-prioritize some of the things that I do. Hmmm...time for reflection!

Peggy said...

Awesome Melanie...Thank you for sharing your pastor's sermon notes and your deep ponderings! You beautifully related all these
timely issues! You demonstrated well the value of our time & the priorities. You are a leader
and gifted. A. W. Tozer quote was very thought provoking. May I never just "kill time."

Jennifer said... first time to visit your blog, which I found through Susan. I really enjoyed your post which was TIMELY for me as I was posting about time today as well - must be much He wants to teach me!

By the way - such a cute profile picture..mine was so goofy I had to take it off! Have a great Tuesday - Jennifer

Sab said...

I struggle in this as well. Some days I don't notice time at all and the clock can tick without me batting an eyelash, and the next, I've got a to do list a mile long and I HAVE to complete every item. Why do we do this to ourselves?

Anyway, I wanted to share some bloggy love with you... clicky...

Donna J. Shepherd said...

Much to think about in this post. The last part of the quote (Tozer) got me, "When you kill time, remember that it has no resurrection." Wow. I appreciate how you wrap up your post with some resolutions and an invitation for us to join you in making the most of our time. Thank you. - Donna